October 30, 2005

Illinois Irishmen Galore!

You probably haven't been as confused as I've been over all the ultra-Irish names in the news lately, but just in case, I think I've finally got it worked out. Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was brought from his native New York to Chicago, where he has investigated corruption in the administrations of former Illinois Republican governor George Ryan and current Chicago Democratic mayor Richie M. Daley, at the request of former Illinois Republican Senator Peter Fitzgerald, who wanted an outsider and an honest man (in the Eliot Ness-Untouchables tradition).

What threw me off is that Sen. Peter Fitzgerald and Patrick Fitzgerald are not related, but they are men of similar character. (I never met Peter Fitzgerald, but his brother Tom Fitzgerald was my corporate attorney when I did mergers & acquisitions in Chicago many years ago.) Peter served only one term in the U.S. Senate because he refused to play ball with the dubious way politics are done in Illinois. The Illinois GOP hierarchy was so outraged when they discovered that they had sent an honest man to Washington that Peter Fitzgerald didn't bother running for re-election.

That set in motion the farcical chain of events that included the Illinois GOP nominating Jack Ryan (no relation, other than moral, to George Ryan, or to Jim Ryan, the Republican candidate to replace George Ryan as governor in 2002) for Fitzgerald's seat in 2004. But Jim Ryan had to withdraw over icky revelations by his starlet ex-wife Jeri Ryan. Eventually, the Illinois GOP nominated Maryland resident Alan Keyes to run against Barack Obama (neither of whom, so far as I know, is Irish) and lose by about one billion to one.

Illinois, which was a consistently Republican state in the 1980-1990s, is now solidly Democratic, in large part because the Illinois GOP has managed the remarkable feat of acquiring among the voters a reputation as even more corrupt than the Illinois Democratic Party!

But Peter Fitzgerald's legacy looks like it will turn out to be Patrick Fitzgerald.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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